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There's something about a new House...





I honestly don't even remember when all this started.


I have an email I sent to Josh with one of my weekly pieces on February 4, 2013, so I know it was sometime before then. I know it was sometime during the '12-'13 season. Dates are elusive the more time passes. You keep a few at hand -- graduations, anniversaries, and other things that are meaningful to people -- but the rest just slip away. I'm losing the point here -- let's move on.


Josh asked me -- whenever it was -- to be part of his up-and-coming site called College Hoops Digest. I'm pretty sure, in hindsight, that the only real reason I said yes was because he and I had worked together at a different outlet. I was the second person in the "building" at CHD.


We've been through some stuff since then, he, you, and I. There have been the highs -- I covered four NCAA tournaments -- at least -- for the site, along with several CITs, an NIT, several MTEs, and literally countless games. I've gotten to tell you about Chris Clemons scoring 51 in a conference tournament game, buzzer-beaters galore, underdog stories, national champions, and I even filed copy at 4:15 in the morning. (I don't know whether I loved what I was doing or hated myself more in that moment. That's a long story -- remind me to tell you sometime.)


There have also been some not-so-highs. Josh battled some really serious health problems -- he's better now, thank God, we've seen some great people -- including ourselves -- lose jobs, the site experienced several issues that at one point forced us to completely start over, and COVID turned us all upside down a couple of years ago. I remember standing on the floor at a Winthrop practice, talking to players about the realization of a lifelong dream, and just hours later, it was gone.


We've also not built what some would call "generational wealth" while doing this, but I digress.


Fast-forward to now. In case you're unaware, this happened:

























 

I've had the good fortune to work with Jake and Will for a while now, and I've gotten to hear their vision for the new brand. They're ambitious, they work hard, and most importantly, they love the game like Josh and I -- and you -- do. They'll be telling stories of the game from the northeast and beyond. We're also adding people in areas we've covered for years, and some in uncharted territory.


Chances are you're reading this either because I directed you or you hate me and like to relish in my failure, so let's address some questions you'll likely ask.


What changes for you and your coverage?: Honestly, not much. Jake and Will trust me -- thanks to you and your support -- to continue telling the stories of the Big South, the ASUN, the SoCon, Conference USA, the Sun Belt, and wherever else my travels take me. The Big South is my primary beat, as it has been for a decade now. I'll always go anywhere the site and I are welcome, though -- assuming, of course, that the price of gas, time, and all those things that we hold more and more dear as the days pass allow.


If anything, I'd like to do more. The season unofficially starts in three weeks or so, where I'll be talking to coaches and players at Big South Media Day. That takes place October 26, and we'll talk more about that on Twitter as the time grows closer. The possibility exists that we may be able to do a Twitter Space, a live stream, or something. Either way, we'll have podcasts, as always. If you have ideas, please share them.


What happens to the Shouting From The Rafters podcast?: Honestly, I don't know. As you all know, my co-host -- and, more importantly, friend -- Alex Zietlow got a well-deserved opportunity to cover Charlotte F.C. and NASCAR for the Charlotte Observer. The podcast was so incredibly fun and I'll miss the way we just turned on record and talked, almost to the point of letting you all eavesdrop on how he and I talked during a game.


I've been approached about keeping it going. Part of me loves the idea, but part of me wonders if it's better to allow it to have lived its life and consider the merits of a different podcast. So many of you had such nice things to say about what we did and how we did it. I'll always appreciate you for that.


Is this the only place we'll see your stuff published?: Never make guarantees, but the short answer is likely this: no. In case you haven't figured out from my soliloquy above, loyalty matters. My good friend Jaden Daly at Daly Dose of Hoops has tagged me in to write some stuff for his outlet through the years, and there's nothing stopping that from continuing. I have also pinch-hit for The (Rock Hill) Herald on Winthrop coverage on several occasions, along with having bylines everywhere from the Virgin Islands to Virginia. Autonomy is earned, and all of you have helped with that process.


Are you getting in on some of the other things the site is doing, such as gambling talk and the like?: Not likely. I'm not required to do so, which is good, but there's a little more at play here.


I'm a journalist, not a handicapper. I'll stay in my lane. I've told many people -- and I'll say it again -- that anyone who bets a cent based on anything I suggest deserves to lose it, because I'm not adept at dishing out gambling advice.


There's also the fact that I'm privileged to have great relationships with a lot of coaches. They may pass along something to me that could potentially influence a pick here or there. Call it paranoia, but I'd rather not take that chance. I'll still do my job as a reporter, including passing along the news items of people not playing or starting, but I ask that none of it be construed as gambling advice.


How can I support what you're doing?: Just keep sharing, visiting, and engaging with the content. I may pilot something where you can toss some dollars this way -- totally voluntary, of course -- but that's not yet in play.


This seems really cool! How can I be a part of it?: This part is pretty easy. If you have ideas for a podcast, a regular column, or any of the other things House is doing, it's pretty easy to reach out. They're always looking for talented additions to the roster. Just send a DM to @CollegeHoopsHE on Twitter with your pitch. They'll take it from there.


Thanks for helping me live out a chaotic and fun decade. I hope you'll follow along this year, too. Same place, same content, new possibilities.



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